STAFF REVIEW of Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate (Xbox One)

Wednesday, January 13, 2021.
by Heather Webster

Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate Box art I was going to start this review with the inclusion of the awards and recognitions of the game and the developers, but if that is the kind of information you’re looking for; chances are you already know them. Watching the trailer for this game alone tells you how awesome of a game Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate is! When the original Mortal Kombat released in 1992, I was 6 years old and not allowed to play. But once I was old enough I fell in love with the blood the gore, the super awesome special moves and of course the finishers! What’s not to love!?

Well 29 years later, I’m still in love with the Mortal Kombat series, possibly more due to how far gaming development has come which allows dev-teams to be able to provide such amazing graphics and various other improvements that have come around through the years. Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate includes the base game with the addition of 2 Kombat Packs and the excellent Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath Expansion. This Ultimate Edition brings a total of 30 add-ons that you can purchase or obtain buy purchasing the packs in previous non-ultimate version(s) of the game.

This is the first time in the franchise that we have seen an expansion that continues the story line from the base game in such a significant way. The three playable characters added are Fujin, Sheeva and RoboCop! I got super excited when I found out that I could now play as RoboCop and other characters such as Rambo, Mileena (who hasn't been a playable character previously) as well as Terminator and the Joker. The variety of styles and looks for each character included in this expansion is also super cool and can be changed in the 'Kustomize' tab with the ability to buy classic skins from the original games as well, and awesome fan service for old school fans.

I became really invested with the storyline and will sit through it again despite the length for my first time through, but when I play again I'll skip over the dialogue due to it being quite a lengthy narrative, especially for a fighter. The revenant version of each character is a great addition to the storyline where good vs. evil of one's own self is included. Kombat Pack 1 includes six fighters including Shang Tsung, The Joker, and Terminator T-800, as well as a bunch of different outfit/styles to choose from when you unlock them. Kombat Pack 2 adds 6 fighters including Mileena and Rambo, the latter who actually sounds like Sylvester Stallone himself.

In this Ultimate edition you have the option to play two different tower modes: Klassic Towers and Towers of Time. Klassic Towers is the same towers mode we all remember from previous versions with five different towers to play. Towers of Time starts you out with towers training that you must complete in order to continue to the full Towers of Time mode where you can play seven different modes of towers, like Premier, Elementary, Rapid, Summon-able and Tag Assists to name a few. Within Towers of Time, if you decide to play online it has a 'race against time' mode where you compete against other online players to climb the ranks of worldwide high scores. Every week there are different rewards for being in the top 10%, so there's always a new reason to keep coming back.

Character/player upgrades are mostly done through the Towers mode as well. The more you play Towers the more you obtain the abilities, Koins, and other things you need so that you can go in and upgrade your characters as well as weapons. This mostly benefits your abilities to fight harder and survive in Tower modes. Characters are customizable as you unlock gear, cosmetics (e.g. character skins), intros, fatalities, victories and brutalities. Also, you can customize character alignments.

Something that I ended up enjoying more than I expected was the AI battle mode. Here you select your three fighters and opponents, then simply let the computer fight it out for you. I really think this is interesting because sometimes it's hard to see all the cool moves the characters have without hours of practice. Plus, seeing these fights in a sped-up mode is awesome!

Friendship fatalities are hilarious to see and the dancing that comes from those victories is so very pleasing as well. In the Krypt you control your character by walking through and using Koins to open chests that contain upgrades, weapons, unlockable items like character art, as well as Kollection recipes. Find the gong and hit it and you will unlock the forge where you can make new items with the things you've found in the chests within the Krypt. Also, if you find a spot in the Krypt containing Kronikas magic you can spend Koins to refill chests you've already opened before. Decide to pay tribute and you'll find rewards like Kronikas amulet.

In the multiplayer modes you can play against your friends in your own home, against the CPU, or anyone online. I have always, and I mean always, love the ability to battle my friend's when they come over for a gaming session. I am not going to lie, as nothing beats a few drinks with some buddies with some swearing and fatalities thrown in for good measure.

I have been a major fan of the Mortal Kombat games since I was a kid who was finally old enough to play. I hadn't been able to play the original Mortal Kombat 11 release, so I was very happy to find out that Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate included so many extras! I really enjoyed all the playable characters and upgrades available for purchase and unlock, as it gave something to always work and strive towards aside from getting better.

I thoroughly recommend Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate to anyone who has wanted to try a fighting game with substance, or who might be like me playing the series throughout the years. The graphics blew my mind when I first started playing, which makes me wish I had a 4K TV even more. I also found that I really got into the interesting story. And as usual for Mortal Kombat, the gameplay is amazing yet classic all at once. Overall, I found Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate as one of my favorites in the franchise and I wholly recommend it to everyone who is into this kind of fighting game, filled with plenty of blood and gore because it's effin' badass!

**Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate was reviewed on an Xbox One S**

Overall: 10.0 / 10
Gameplay: 10.0 / 10
Visuals: 10.0 / 10
Sound: 10.0 / 10


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